On Moldova

Just Like the Moldovans, Or Almost Anyway


Flying in and out of the Chisinau airport is always different from other airports I travel through. The first time I took a flight from there, I thought the lines were immensely long and that things seemed very disorganized until I realized that only a few of the people that were there were actually travelling; the rest were just there to see family and friends off. People are bringing flowers and gifts and bidding tearful goodbyes. Many are leaving for long periods. Some might not even know when they will come back. Once, I sat next to a young man on a plane, who was going away for an 18-months training in Chicago, and who was almost crying because he would not get to see his girlfriend in all that time. It was also the first time that he was on an airplane and so he was very nervous.


Another time, on my way back to Chisinau, I sat next to a woman who had divorced her Moldovan husband and remarried in Paris but left her kids in Moldova. She said that commuting worked but she was sad not to see them more than a few times a year.


And when flying in to Chisinau, there are hundreds of people there in the arrival hall, waiting for their loved ones and welcoming them with hugs and kisses and tears of joy.


Monday morning, it was my turn to be one of them. Martin was kind enough to take me to the airport despite the early hour, and though I had already said goodbye to so many, I really did feel a sting of sadness when I walked through the passport control and had to say good bye to Martin, Chisinau, and Moldova. I was also surprisingly nervous when I waiting by the gate, wondering if I made the right choice when I decided to move to the US and how my future will turn out. I can’t even begin to imagine how so many Moldovans must feel when they sit on that airport, ready to leave their home country for an uncertain future.


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